Amazon enters generative AI market with a global accelerator for startups

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) is taking a major step into the burgeoning generative artificial intelligence (AI) market by launching the ‘Generative AI Accelerator,’ a global program aimed at nurturing and supporting startups working in the field. As the race to bring artificial intelligence into the mainstream intensifies, Amazon’s foray into AI accelerators marks a strategic move to foster innovation and attract startups into its cloud ecosystem.

    The 10-week accelerator program is designed for seed and pre-seed generative AI startups that have already built a minimum viable product (MVP) and have plans to raise funding within the next 18 months. Amazon’s initiative is inclusive, welcoming startups leveraging cloud technologies or those planning to do so soon. However, startups located in China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, or Syria are excluded from applying.

    According to the company’s blog post, the Generative AI Accelerator will provide up to $300,000 in AWS credits to the selected startups, enabling them to build their AI services and solutions more efficiently. With applications open for the next two weeks, Amazon is set to choose 10 startups to participate in this exciting program.

    The initiative demonstrates Amazon’s commitment to supporting the entire generative AI stack, from foundational model providers to consumer applications. “We believe the startup ecosystem is a catalyst for innovation in AI, and we’re thrilled to offer another avenue of support for the top Generative AI companies in the world,” stated AWS on the accelerator’s FAQ page.

    Amazon‘s entry into the AI accelerator space is not the company’s first move in the now booming market. Back in 2016, Amazon launched its first accelerator program that was focused on conversational AI.

    The accelerator will culminate with a Demo Day in San Francisco, where startups will showcase their progress and pitch to the Generative AI community, including investors, press, and customers. This event aims to raise awareness and support for the participating companies.

    While AWS will not invest in the startups and does not yet have an AI/ML investment arm, the company’s initiative signals a more measured approach to building AI compared to its competitors, such as Google’s Bard and Microsoft’s ChatGPT. Notably, Amazon has partnered with top AI firms like Hugging Face and Stability AI, with the latter referring to AWS as the “preferred cloud provider to build and scale its AI models for image, language, audio, video, and 3D content generation.”

    Rob Ferguson, AWS’ global head of AI/ML Startups, emphasizes the potential of generative AI to unlock new developments and creativity. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning are some of the most transformative technologies of our generation and have been a main focus area for Amazon for more than 20 years…[we’re] excited about what the next big thing we can help power through the cloud,” Ferguson told TechCrunch.



    author avatar
    Anubha Pandey




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